Help! How Do I Acknowledge Matching Gifts?

“I have a question about acknowledgement letters. If I am acknowledging a donor whose company has matched a gift, should my acknowledgement letter to the donor recognize the total amount received? Or should the letter acknowledge the donation and then specifically address the match?

I would also like to thank the corporation, but I have no contact information or mailing address. I could send a letter to a staff member at North American headquarters, but I am not sure of best practices in this situation. I have always simply thanked the donor for their donation, then acknowledged that I had received the matching gift. Then if possible, I sent a letter of acknowledgement to the employer or organization matching the gift.”

WOW – this level of attention to detail is a beacon of hope in these uncertain times. GREAT Question!

Should you wish to notify the donor that their employer match has been received, please do! I encourage you to be really specific. Your message should include the date, the amount of gift that was matched by the employer, as well as the total amount the donor will be recognized for and over what time frame. Sound excessive?  Sure. I’ve tried a more minimalist approach in the past. I also spent the better part of my 20s explaining the difference between a calendar and fiscal year. I wish better for you, my dear reader.

In conclusion, while this is a “nice to do,” not a “must do,” it will clear up confusion down the line.

This is where Network for Good’s smart, simple fundraising software can provide the tools you need to communicate with confidence. In the interest of time, personal safety, and the environment, I strongly encourage you to keep this acknowledgement digital.

Thanking the corporation can often be a complicated and time-consuming endeavor. Step one: read the fine print. In many cases, recognition instructions will be included on the check or fine print section of the corporation’s matching gift portal. In the interest of your time, I suggest a more manageable system. In lieu of individual recognition, you can feature a list of companies that matched employee gifts from 2018 forward on your website. Reach out to the corporation’s media relations contact to obtain permission and style guidelines.

Ask a Fundraising Coach is Network for Good’s weekly advice column, where Personal Fundraising Coach Andrea Holthouser tackles your toughest challenges in the world of fundraising, nonprofit management, donor relations, and more.

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